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Parliamentary questions
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15 March 2021
P-000147/2021(ASW)
Answer given by Mr Breton
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: P-000147/2021

The SME strategy(1) supports small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the recovery’s priorities, i.e. the twin transition to sustainability and digitalisation, and aims to increase their resilience. The implementation of the strategy is fully ongoing and has proven its flexibility during the COVID-19 crisis. Several actions have been adapted or advanced, adjusting them to the new reality.

The Commission will continue to regularly review progress on the implementation of the strategy and could envisage a structured dialogue with the Parliament on SMEs in the context of the monitoring and reporting activities, such as the annual SME performance review(2).

The Commission is deploying a number of tools to reduce disproportionate burdens for SMEs. Impact assessments look at impacts on SMEs including applying the SME test(3) to ensure that no disproportionate burdens are being placed on them by new legislation. The Commission has also committed to implementing the ‘One-in One-out’ approach. Burdens introduced by proposals presented by the Commission should be offset by removing an equivalent existing burden in the same policy area. Moreover, revisions of legislations look systematically at ways to simplify and reduce burdens.

The specificities of the outermost regions are taken into account in 21 proposals for future EU programmes(4). They benefit from a specific additional allocation from the European Regional Development Fund to offset the additional costs incurred in these regions as a result of one or several of the permanent restraints to their development(5). This encompasses investment in infrastructures and equipment, among other (6).

(1)https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/communication-sme-strategy-march-2020_en.pdf
(2)https://ec.europa.eu/growth/smes/sme-strategy/performance-review_en
(3)https://ec.europa.eu/growth/smes/sme-strategy/sme-test_en
(4)https://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/policy/themes/outermost-regions/#3
(5)listed in Article 349 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union
(6)Measures covering operating costs of their firms including expenditure on freight transport services, start-up aid for transport services as well as expenditure on operations linked to storage constraints, the excessive size and maintenance of production tools, and the lack of human capital in the local market.
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